Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Lots of Updates!

Mr. Mustard went to Vegas with his highschool friends last Friday and had a great time hanging with the guys. They went to a gun range and shot M-16s and other automatic rifles, ate at a good steakhouse, and played poker. Mr. Mustard had a great time- lots of good guy bonding! Hopefully his friend Tom will send us some pictures soon so I can post a few- Mr. Mustard forgot his camera, but did bring the new video camera- so I got to see footage of them at the gun range. It was pretty scary and weirdly amazing all at the same time.

I, on the other hand, had a nice quiet weekend at home with Hauser and Meg. Thursday before Mr. Mustard left on his trip we went out to see The Breakup with Jennifer Aniston and then snuck into Cars- mostly because I didn't want to go home quite yet and it was starting right then. Both movies were very cute. The baby definitely preferred Cars- she was kicking uncontrollably during the movie. We had popcorn and enjoyed what will probably be one of our last movie date nights together before she is born. So, it was fun!

Saturday night I had a bit of a scare- I was home alone, and stayed up late as usual. I took Hauser outside at 2 am for his last outing of the night and was careful to stay close the building and make it quick. There was this guy on the corner, which kind of weirded me out, but we were only out there for a second. I came back inside and about half an hour later decided to go to sleep. I turned off the light in the bedroom, and just about 30 seconds after I did, all the electricity in the whole apartment went out. The clocks, everything... It was really dark and I was thinking how weird it was that just as I turned out my bedroom light everything else shut off. So, I called Mr. Mustard, opened the front door and looked out into to the main hallway of the apartment- and all of the lights were off out there, too. No flashlight around, so I just stumbled back to bed. Luckily, Hauser jumped up in the bed with me to keep me company. I was starting to let my imagination run wild (thinking about the guy on the corner), which made me start breathing harder-- and then I started having really big, painful contractions! Which is not a good sign. I've had a lot of contractions all along, and going into labor early has been a concern..., so I was really worrying that "this is it"- and here I am, no clock to time the contractions, in the dark, by myself, with Mr. Mustard 5 hours away. So, I did some deep breathing and after about an hour and a half, they went away and I fell asleep. The lights all suddenly came on at 6am- so I don't know what the quirk was. Just a quirk, I guess- but it was still sort of scary at the time!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Today's Appointment- 31 weeks, 6 days

Just got back from the doctor's office. My appointment was at 9 a.m., and I got there at 8:45- since parking was thankfully not a problem. The trouble was that the doctor didn't show up until almost 10! I didn't ask why- but in my head I told myself he was probably out delivering another baby. That way I wouldn't be too grumpy when I saw him. Anyway, I was getting very frustrated and uncomfortable after waiting in a crowded waiting room for over an hour- but they made it worth my while. They did an ultrasound, which was GREAT because I got to see our little girl on the big screen. Ultrasounds are so very cool.

I brought a video tape and they gave me pictures- which I will have to post later when Mr. Mustard gets a chance to scan them. She is SO cute! She has Mr. Mustard's nose, I think...which is just adorable. As far as the vitals go, she is measuring in the 90th percentile for size! She weighs over 5 pounds and is the size of a 35 week baby! I know ultrasounds can be off by a lot for size and weight, but it means that she's probably a pretty good sized baby and will get even bigger. I'm happy about it because if something were to happen and I would go into labor early, she would be fine. Ann (who is a twin) was smaller than that when she was born! So, having a big baby is a good thing in my opinion. :-)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

31 Weeks, 4 Days!

Nothing too big to report. Last night Mr. Mustard and I had a quick "date"- well, more like a quick run to In and Out Burger. I was craving meat again- so it had to be done!

I took this picture of myself just a minute ago- it's not the best, but it shows how huge I'm getting. The countdown is really on to the big day!

Movement continues to be a big thing- Mr. Mustard was amazed last night at how much she was bopping around.

I've been doing a little organizing of all of her stuff. Folding clothes in her dresser, putting up her stuffed animals, etc. There is still a lot to do, of course- and I'm really looking forward to doing most of it after the Bar is finished. It's very strange to think about how small she is going to be-- but so big at the same time! My online tracker says that she is about 19 inches long, and about 4 pounds by now! It seems crazy that something 19 inches long is inside me! No wonder I can't breathe!

My friend Lindsey emailed me yesterday to ask what a narrative show is- I forgot to say in my email back to her exactly what it is- and then it occured to me that everyone else is probably wondering what the heck a narrative show is anyway! It basically is a scripted show (as opposed to a reality show). So, that would include shows like sit-coms, one hour dramas, etc. I guess the better term really would be scripted instead of narrative. Mr. Mustard is really liking the show- at least the process of learning how to edit a scripted show because it is a much different thing than editing reality.

My neighbor told me yesterday that there have been two muggings outside of our building lately! One happened on Tuesday night at about 2 a.m. This, of course, freaked me out because it seems like we live in a nice neighborhood- and I'm always out walking Hauser in the evenings. I will have to be extra careful when I walk him late at night (when Mr. Mustard is working late or out of town). I also worry about Mr. Mustard walking him late at night because both incidents were cases where men were the ones being mugged! Mr. Mustard seems to think that Hauser will be a deterrent for anyone mugging us- since he is a big, black looking dog- and people might be scared of that. But, if you know Hauser, then you know that he couldn't hurt a thing- and I don't know how scary chocolate labs are to people who know dogs! Anyway, that was disconcerting.

Speaking of Hauser, we have to figure out what we're going to do with him when I give birth! Having a dog can complicate things- especially because he needs to be walked four times a day and fed twice. Meg is much more low-maintenance. We're thinking of sending him to doggy camp- but of course, that would mean that we would have to KNOW when I'm going into labor in advance- which probably won't happen. There is the option of asking a neighbor- which we may have to look into...because I don't want Mr. Mustard missing the birth because he had to go home to feed or walk the dog!

Here is a pic I took of Hauser just now. He is a lot of work- but he is SO worth it!!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

I feel better today. I've been focusing on Civil Procedure- although it still is the most difficult, and dull subject ever. The baby has been moving SO MUCH lately- she is very active, especially when I rest on my right side. I think maybe it's uncomfortable for her when I lay that way- otherwise, why would she squirm so much? I can literally feel her moving her whole body around, and today I saw what looked sort of like a foot sticking out of my side!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

First Father's Day

I know it's not technically Mr. Mustard's first Father's Day, but we celebrated it as if it were- since she's technically a person now in many ways (fully formed and just "cooking" a little longer in there). I got Mr. Mustard a very cute father/daughter T-Shirt combo for Father's Day. I think he liked it - it's a computer gamer T-shirt for him and a matching one for the the baby. I ordered it about two weeks ago and didn't know if it would arrive in time, but it arrived on Friday, just in time! I also got him a cool Father-to-Be card! :-)

In other news, I'm stuck in the nightmare of Bar Exam studying right now- no matter how much I study, it never quite seems to be enough. I tackled Civil Procedure yesterday and today- even though on my study calendar, it's only budgeted for tomorrow. That is definitely not enough time to master one my most difficult subjects-- for me, the substantive law is much easier to get than the procedural. The procedural courses (Civ Pro, Crim Pro, and Evidence) are all incredibly boring and at the same time very difficult. Oh well.

I'm starting to get panicked about not being prepared for the exam- it's an unending mountain of material to memorize and then apply over 24 hours of testing (8 hrs/day- 3 day exam). So far, I've worked on Evidence, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Torts, Remedies, Property, and Criminal Procedure. I have yet to start on Community Property, Corporations, Wills, Professional Responsibility, and Trusts. I'm sure this doesn't matter to really anyone but me, but it's just a lot of work- and very, very, very stressful. Arghh.

I usually have about one nervous breakdown/ crying session a day- and then I get better. It's just hard to lock yourself in a room and study all day, every day- never going outside or doing anything fun. I've been feeling sort of sorry for myself- but I usually get over it pretty quickly when I remember that this is only temporary and once I pass the Bar, I'll be a lawyer for life. So, 5 more weeks of intensive studying is worth it for a career that will open many doors in the future- legal or not. But, even saying that, it's been difficult. I've never put myself through anything this difficult or intense in my life, I've definitely never studied this much- and I'm barely keeping up with the recommended study schedule.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My Mom!

Here is a picture of my mom when she was about 8 months pregnant with me! I think we look a lot alike- well, except that she's younger than me in this picture and has a better tan! Being stuck inside behind a computer and law books hasn't been too great for my tan this summer!

I got the hotel squared away for the Bar Exam. It's a three day test, and I have to arrive the day before to check in and get my credentials. So, I'm staying at the hotel for 4 nights total. I'm looking at it as a mini-vacation, since it will be so nice to stay in a hotel. It doesn't have a pool, but it does have a jacuzzi tub in each room, which will be very relaxing! I'm pretty excited about this mini-vacation- even if I do have to take the Bar while I'm staying there!

Studying is going okay- it's very stressful and I'm not doing too great at it. If I fail in July, there's always the February Exam. I keep telling myself that if I don't pass the first time, then it's just more practice for the next round. I am getting a little too stressed about it, though. Parts of my hair have turned white- well, only a few strands, but I noticed it and Mr. Mustard did, too! They turned white from the top all the way to the bottom overnight! It's pretty freaky.

My mom sent me a cool tree in the mail for my graduation- it's a money tree and it's supposed to bring good luck, wealth, and happiness! It's really neat- and the only plant in our whole apartment! I hope I can keep it alive- I've never been the best with plants, but I'm going to do my best!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Big Movements!

I think the baby is turning into position (upside down) or at least turning around somehow. I've been feeling a lot of big movements lately- not kicks or punches exactly- more like awkward whole body movements. Sometimes it can almost hurt! Mr. Mustard felt it last night and he was shocked at the amount of movement and how he could feel body parts pushing up next to my skin. It definitely makes her arrival seem more imminent and real!

Mr. Mustard is liking his new job, which he started yesterday. He says it's very different from reality editing. I think in some ways it's probably easier than reality editing, but in some ways it's harder. Harder because he's been editing reality now for almost 5 years, and he just started on this, so of course there's going to be a big learning curve. He also has to do an episode a day on this show, and on The Race he had an episode every 4 weeks or so, I think. So, it's a much faster turnaround.

I succeeded in getting up earlier this morning- although I did go to bed around 3:30am and didn't fall asleep until after 4. Hopefully I can stay up all day and then fall asleep when Mr. Mustard falls asleep tonight- which will put me back on a more "normal" schedule!

I've decided that buying a house in California right now is not a good idea- there have been doomsayers about the Los Angeles housing market crashing for a long time, but based on the minimal looking I've done, it seems like Los Angeles may be in for a major correction in the near future. I don't think it's going to hurt us to not buy right away- houses are staying on the market much longer now (months instead of days), and people are already lowering prices like crazy. A lot of people have Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) or Interest Only Mortgages and are starting to feel the pressure of those interest rates rising. So, as they try to bail out of their houses, the market is going to become flooded with product and prices will decline. This should probably happen in the next couple of years (it's already starting to happen). So, it doesn't make sense for us to buy now when prices are so inflated. We can rent comparable places for so much less per month and then save what we would have spent on interest for a down payment. It's just a matter of being patient, which has never been my strongest suit!

The apartment is becoming more tolerable to me. Maybe it's because I now realize that the Bar is 6 weeks from today (!) and I have a very long way to go in getting prepared for it. There are thirteen subjects on the Bar, and I've reviewed five so far. So, that's eight left to learn. Plus, I have to practice writing the essays and doing the Performance Test, which is a simulated real-world exercise having little to do with law you already know. There's also the multiple-choice, which I definitley need to practice more. I tend to overthink that part, and my scores have been less than great thus far. I can always get it down to two answers and then I end up choosing the wrong one without fail! So, yes, lots of work to do. This has been distracting me from worrying too much about moving anytime soon.

What else? Oh- I've lost feeling in the smaller toes on my left foot. It's weird, but I think it has something to do with the pregnancy and I should talk to my doctor about it when I see him next Friday. It feels like they are so swollen that they are cutting off eachother's circulation. I try to wiggle them a lot to get the blood moving, but they just hurt. I think my sleeping position may have something to do with it. I could try switching sleeping positions, but I've been instructed to sleep on my left side because it helps blood flow. It's also the only sleeping position remotely comfortable anymore, so I'm not changing it. I can't sleep on my back because that cuts off blood flow to the baby from the weight of the uterus pressing down on a major artery. So- I'm stuck with these toes for now, I guess!

I really do like being pregnant, but I think I'm getting to the uncomfortable stage where I just want to meet our daughter and have the comfort of my body back. It's amazing to know that she's growing inside me, and I wouldn't give that up for anything. I am also really excited to meet her, and having my body back (without the swollen ankles, etc.) will be a really nice perk! I guess I shouldn't rush things because no matter what, she's going to be here in about 10 weeks- or maybe even less. Plus, the more quickly time passes, the less time I have to study for the Bar and get ready for her arrival!

Today I'm studing Contracts in the morning- so I guess I should get back to that. It's a heavy topic- a lot of it centering on Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). Not exactly fare to keep me alert this morning, but I have to learn it!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

30 Weeks!

Mr. Mustard took this picture of me outside our apartment to mark the 30th week! 10 weeks left until my due date- time is really flying! I was so burned out on studying this morning that I decided to get out of the house for a little bit. We decided to go see Cars, but when we got to the movie theater, it was packed with little kids and their parents who were going to see it, so we opted for the less popular X-Men 3. Of course, Mr. Mustard had already seen it, but he said he didn't mind seeing it again. I thought it was pretty good. The baby loved it, I think. She was very active during the movie, especially during the exciting bits with lots of music.

One of my goals for this week is to get back on a normal sleep schedule. I have not been able to get to sleep, so every night I end up falling asleep around 3:30 a.m. Then, I wake up every half hour to an hour to go to the bathroom. All of this is not good- especially since the Bar starts at 8 a.m., and I have been getting up around 10 every morning (due to going to bed so late). I think I was just made to stay up late, and so it's very natural for me to be awake in the middle of the night.

I've thought about just staying up all night, not going to sleep, and then trying to fall asleep early the next night to re-set my internal clock. That's what I usually do when this sort of thing happens, but being pregnant, I don't want to exhaust myself too much. All the traditional remedies don't work for me (relaxation tapes, tea, milk before bed, white noise makers, etc.)- trust me, I've tried them all multiple times! Things should be easier with Mr. Mustard going back to work on Monday, since he has to be there by 9, so I'll start getting up with him around 7:30 or 8-- which hopefully will do the trick to get me on an earlier schedule.

Well, it's back to studying for me now. It was nice to get out and have a short break from it by going to the movie!

Friday, June 9, 2006

Follow-Up From Doctor

Yea! I got a call this morning from the doctor's office telling me that my bloodwork came back okay and that I don't have to be monitored for gestational diabetes. I am so relieved! The numbers were still at the high end of the "normal" range, so the doctor said I need to eliminate sugar from my diet to the greatest degree possible in order to stay healthy. The numbers were definitely on the high side, so I will follow doctor's orders. It's a bummer because, of course, who doesn't want to eat dessert when they're pregnant?

In other news, my good friend Sarah (who lives in Colorado now) emailed me to say that she took a home pregnancy test yesterday and it came back positive! I'm SO happy for her and her husband, Tim! They are planning on coming out to California in August- and I hope they still plan on coming, even with the pregnancy! She is due Valentine's Day 2007, so she will still be fairly early in her pregnancy in August. I can't wait to see her and watch her progress these next nine months!

Mr. Mustard is finished with the documentary and has had yesterday and today off, before he starts his new job on Monday. Yesterday he took Hauser to the dog park- I am so grateful that he did that. In my advanced state of pregnancy and with my study schedule, I haven't been giving Hauser the exercise he needs- just little walks here and there. At the dog park, he can run around and really get out all of his energy. Mr. Mustard took him to another park this morning and threw the tennis ball with him. So, Hauser should be good and tired when they get back.

Last night I felt a HUGE kick on my right side, which I think was the baby changing positions. It was definitely a big thump and sort of hurt, actually! But, I'm glad I felt it because everytime I do feel movement, it's very reassuring. My next doctor's appointment is on June 23rd, when I'll be 32 weeks. I think they're going to do an ultrasound, which is great because I can see what she's doing in there!

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

A Call From the Doctor

I just got off the phone with the doctor. My blood test levels came back elevated for Gestational Diabetes, so I have to go in tomorrow for another test. It's a 3 hour test where they draw blood every hour to test how well I am processing glucose. At first I thought the doctor was just being overly cautious, so I asked him what my levels were and then checked them against the other women on my pregnancy board. The "cut-off" maxiumum allowable according to my doctor is 140- which was confirmed by everyone on my board. My levels were 153- which were much higher than most of the other people who had to re-take the test (they were getting 139-145 scores).

So, it's probably just a fluke, but I will go take the test anyway. Gestational Diabetes if undiagnosed and treated can cause a lot of pregnancy complications- including underdeveloped babies, so I need to get it checked out. I'm going to bring my IPod to listen to Bar Lectures, some earplugs, and my study materials so that I can get stuff done while I'm there.

I hope I pass this second glucose test! If I don't then I have to be monitored by my doctor (doc appt. at least once a week), given Non-Stress Tests (NSTs) on a regular basis, take daily readings of my blood sugar, follow a special diet, etc. That would not be fun given my current state of frenzied studying. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

In other news, Mr. Mustard found out yesterday that he got the job he wanted! It starts on Monday and goes through mid-August. He's turning down another show to do it, so I hope he likes it. Also, the Race called yesterday to book him for next season, but he had already accepted the job on the narrative show, so he had to turn them down. Moving from reality to narrative is a big leap- so I'm really happy for him. It's a good career move- and if it doesn't work out, then there's always back to what he's been doing. I'm extremely proud of him!

Sunday, June 4, 2006

29 Weeks, 1 Day

Had a good weekend-- but it didn't exactly feel like a weekend. I mostly studied. Yesterday I made the mistake of looking up the California Bar Pass Rates- between 30-45%, if I remember correctly. That's not great odds- but whatever- I'll proceed in the face of it.

Yesterday, Mr. Mustard worked on the doc and went to the set of a show he might be working on. I stayed cool in the apartment- it was sooo hot outside- almost 90 degrees, but it felt hotter.

I woke up feeling horrible this morning- as if to suggest that morning sickness has returned. Mr. Mustard made me a fruit smoothie for breakfast, and I could only keep it down for about half an hour. It was awful.

So, later we went out to Wendy's for lunch- which I was really craving. It was good- lately all I've wanted to eat is protein, protein, protein. This baby is really growing, I think!

Then we drove around and looked at a few Open Houses for houses for sale. Not that we're going to buy anything- but it was something to do. We saw a duplex that we both really liked, but it was pricey ($700,000!!!!).

We're getting tired of where we live- there are some positive things about it (basically the low rent and the location), but 500 square feet is not too much space for two adults, a baby, a 75 pound dog, and a cat! The smallness of the apartment is not such a big deal to me- it's more the fact that there is no opportunity to go outside because there is absolutely no yard- and our building manager has all of his junky fixer-up cars in the parking lot.

It would be nice to be able to go outside and get some fresh air from time to time, especially living in a place with a climate as nice as Los Angeles. I commented to Mr. Mustard this morning that I was tempted to go over to one of our neighbor's houses and sit on their front porch since they're not using it- just get my books, get some lemonade, and make myself comfortable. People are very reluctant to be mean to a pregnant lady- so I could get away with it for the next few months anyway!

Mr. Mustard's show he was going to do on ABC was cancelled- so now he's trying to get something else comparable. He's up for one show that looks really interesting (a narrative), and I really hope he gets it. He wants it really badly. If that doesn't work out, he has talked about the possibility of doing a different show that's on ABC, which would run until next year. Either way, his work on RPS (the Rock Paper Scissors documentary) is coming to an end because they have to send a cut to the Toronto Film Festival soon. I hope it turns out the way he wants it to- he's worked so hard on it for the past few months...I can't wait to see a final cut.

My dad called today, which was really really nice. It was weird because I was just thinking of calling him and then he called me. He's looking forward to his trip to help Hurricane Katrina victims, which he leaves for in two weeks! He's been doing a lot of planning for it, so I hope it turns out well.

My mom emailed me to say that she's definitely coming out in August! I'm very excited!!! I have lots of fun things planned for us to do while she's here- it will be great to see her and spend my last few days of life before baby with my mom- we can do all the last minute shopping and stuff like that. I'll be finished with the Bar by then, so it's perfect timing. I'm really excited about it.

I realized today that I haven't taken any pregnancy pictures in awhile- so I did these myself with a timer- (Mr. Mustard is off working on the doc). They're not the best pictures, but they'll do to show how big I'm getting. I've been thinking of getting professional pregnancy pictures done (they're apparently all the rage), but don't really know where to go and don't have the time right now to research a photographer, etc., since studying is taking up all of my time outside of sleeping, eating, showering, and occasionally walking Hauser. So, maybe at some point in the future I can have Mr. Mustard take some really good pictures somewhere other than our bedroom or our apartment.

Oh- I'm also including pictures of the breakfast nook, which will probably be the baby's room until we can manage to move. I obviously haven't started decorating it yet. My brother Robbie suggested a "kitchen theme" for the decor, which I thought was appropriate. I'm not sure what I will do yet- probably a pink theme- Mr. Mustard wants something science-based, I think. We'll see. In any event, the dog and cat food will have to be moved elsewhere, as will our dining table. But, I'm not going to worry about all of that yet.

So, back to studying for me. Well, actually, I have to feed Hauser and then take him for a walk- then back to studying...

Thursday, June 1, 2006

More About Cameron!

Ann sent me a bunch of pictures yesterday of Cameron- he is so PERFECT! He has the most impressive head of hair!

It's interesting to think that this baby growing inside me might have hair, too. I don't know why that's so shocking to me, but it just seems so incredible.

I'm still stuck studying. I'm meeting with Jessica later today to review Property Multi-State questions. It's been about a month since she's seen me, so I bet she's going to be surprised at how much bigger I've gotten!

Mr. Mustard went and saw the new X-Men movie last night with his friend Dave- I stayed home and studied a bit. I was bummed about not going, but Mr. Mustard wasn't too thrilled about the movie, so I didn't feel so bad. Mr. Mustard is a huge fan of the first two movies- so I think he came in with high expectations for X3.

I'm getting so excited for these last two months of pregnancy. Seeing Cameron makes everything seem so much more real! Well, I actually still have 2 and half months left-- and I'm just going to try to enjoy them. Yes, my feet are swollen, my ankles are huge, and everything is uncomfortable- but this is such a special time of life. I really don't want to waste it thinking about the future. Seeing these pictures makes me excited for the birth of our little girl!